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Accreditation Fundraising Campaign


Below is a letter sent from President Schulthies to the GWU community.


From the desk of President Schulthies 

October 21, 2010 
Dear friend of GWU, 
As I begin my tenure as president of George Wythe University, I want to be perfectly upfront about my primary reasons for accepting this position and what I intend to accomplish during the time I am here. In short, I am here to complete the accreditation process once and for all so that this institution can fulfill the true potential of its mission. I admit to taking a no-nonsense, pragmatic approach to this, which should not be mistaken for diminishing our mission and values to any degree. Accreditation is an important means to an even more important end--but most of the requirements are also worthy ends in themselves, many of which even amplify our original mission to a surprising degree. 
An example of this is the requirement for high ethical standards. Having chaired the Human Subjects Committee over ethics in research at BYU's three campuses, I've seen the results of both neglect and of vigilance. As GWU President, one of my top priorities is to formalize best practices in ethics to safeguard school operations, and then take it a step further--to fortify our students with a foundation in leadership ethics so they can safely navigate the political minefields that lie ahead of them. You may have read about this a few days ago in our press release, and in the President's Welcome Message on the school website. If we are committed to preparing students for the real challenges of leadership, then preparing them against ethical snares in particular must become a high priority. Since we are serious about delivering on our promise, we've decided to expand this into our curriculum. This may go beyond the needs of accreditation, but it is truly fundamental to our mission. 
I also want to explain some recently discovered details about our path to accreditation that most people are unaware of. 
The accrediting agency we selected, the American Academy of Liberal Education, (AALE) has a mission in close alignment with our own. We have had many discussions with them over the last few years and two onsite evaluations. They are excited about our quality of education and have suggested a number of helpful changes. This has led to an unexpected discovery. 
In my most recent discussions with them, it has become clear that our prior understanding of financial requirements for accreditation was not entirely correct. It was believed in the past, and you may have been told, that an endowment or asset portfolio of several million dollars was necessary. This, in fact, is not true. AALE requires an asset to liability ratio of 2:1 as well as a strong profit/loss statement. Our calculations using their formula indicate that we could meet their requirement if we simply generated an additional $380,000. In sum, this is good news. We are much closer than we thought. 
Many of you have expressed enthusiasm for the new momentum at the school and have asked how you can help. While we are actively pursuing large donations, there is one way that almost anyone can help. We have created a fund specifically for small monthly donations, expressly for the purpose of reaching this ratio for accreditation. You may still designate other purposes for your donations, but the greatest benefit for the school will be closing this gap, once and for all. 
To this end, we have added a new tool on our website that will give you full control over your donations. You can specify the amount you would like to contribute each month, change it at any time, and even select a fund with a particular objective. I recommend that you check "accreditation," since donations to this fund will serve that purpose most directly. Still, all donations will ultimately bring us closer to accreditation, even if indirectly. One-time donations are naturally appreciated as well. 
That being said, what would it take to raise the remaining $380,000? If only 200 families donated $60 per month (or 600 families donated $20) the resulting $12,000 each month would certainly put us on a sure course--but it would actually accomplish much more. An important detail to know is that these types of donations send a signal to larger donors. When they see this kind of commitment on the ground, they get excited about matching such giving, even multiplying it. We continually nurture relationships with donors who look for this pattern as a matter of course. The seeding really begins with you and me. As small donors, we have more influence than we realize. 
If you are already donating, we thank you for your support and we encourage you to go online today so that you can customize your giving. If you have donated in the past, we invite you to become involved again. From what I've observed, many who stopped donating had only changed credit cards or bank accounts and had simply forgotten about their monthly contribution. Once it was brought to their attention, they began donating again. 
Meanwhile, we will continue accelerating our momentum toward accreditation on all fronts. As we check off items and press forward to this end, I invite you to commit what you can to help close this gap. To begin, simply visit this link, and feel free to call if you need any assistance. Please accept my gratitude in advance for your sacrifice as we complete this task together. This cause--educating for liberty--is a worthy one. This mission--preparing statesmen--is a vital one. 
Shane S. Schulthies
George Wythe University
(435) 586-6570


Ways to Give

Our Accreditation Campaign is officially underway. The remaining financial requirement is now less than $400,000.
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